Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has called for bold action for nature’s recovery as General Election campaigning gets under way.

Following the announcement that a General Election will be held on July 4, the Trust has emphasised the critical importance of this election for the future of UK wildlife.

The Trust said that the decisions taken by the next government will have a pivotal impact on efforts to urgently halt nature’s decline.

Debbie Tann MBE, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, has urged all political parties to prioritise nature and biodiversity in their platforms, policies and choices.

She said: “The next five years will be decisive in our efforts to protect and restore the natural environment.

“We need bold and committed action from political leaders to ensure we meet our targets and secure a thriving natural world for future generations.”

The Trust has identified five key policy priorities that must be addressed to halt and reverse species decline and ensure a positive future for all.

Reforming our planning system:

Development needs to be both nature-friendly and sustainable.

Our planning system must be reformed to protect critical habitats and natural resources, and ensure that new developments contribute positively to the recovery of the natural environment.

Supporting the transition to Nature-Friendly Farming:

Agriculture is one of the biggest drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change.

Policies should properly fund the transition to sustainable and regenerative methods of food production that support biodiversity restoration, soil health, and climate resilience.

Tackling water pollution:

Stricter regulations and better management of pollutants, including agricultural runoff and sewage, are vital if we are to protect our rivers and seas.

We need local champions backing more robust protections to help save our streams.

Supporting greener communities:

Urban and rural greenspaces provide the essential habitats and stepping stones that our wildlife needs to survive and thrive.

We need to empower communities to connect with and look after the nature on their doorstep.

Prioritising Nature-Based Solutions to climate change:

Natural solutions such as reforestation, wetland creation and seagrass restoration can make a meaningful contribution to combating climate change while also boosting biodiversity.

These ecosystems can act as buffers against extreme weather such as flooding or droughts, protecting people, houses, crops, water supplies and vital infrastructure.